How to Measure Curtains for Bay Windows
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How to Measure Curtains for Bay Windows

July 15, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Home Decor Specialist

Most bay windows project outward from the home to create an appealing visual aesthetic and allow more natural light to enter the room. These attractive windows offer a sophisticated look that adds character to the home and elevates the interior decor of your living space. When measuring curtains for bay windows, it is best to determine which hanging method suits your windows the best. Bay window curtain poles, tracks, and brackets require different hanging methods and produce different measurements. Before measuring a bay window treatment, there are several factors to consider to ensure your curtains properly fit your bay window.


White Curtains

Identify Your Desired Placement

Before measuring your bay window for curtains, identify the ideal position for your bay window curtain rod or track. Look over the window frame, and identify whether you want the curtains to hang from the inside of the window frame or rest outside the frame. Each placement method requires different components and produces different measurements. For example, mounting brackets are needed to hang the curtains on the outside of the window frame, while tension rods or poles are the best method to hang curtains inside the window frame.

Yellow and Gray Curtains

Determine the Length

When measuring for the length of your curtains, determine whether you want the curtains to rest directly below the window frame or if you would rather have them gently touching the floor. Depending on your hanging method, place a tape measure at the top of the window frame or inside the top corner of the window frame, and pull the tape measure down until you reach your desired placement location. Write the measurement down to ensure you are recording an accurate measurement for the length of the window.

Yellow Curtains

Determine the Width

In some cases, measuring for the width of bay window curtains requires taking measurements for each individual section. To measure the width, place a tape measure on the left side of the window at the start of the first section, then stop the tape measure right before the start of the adjacent section. For the best results, ensure the tape measure remains level.

To hang curtains wider than the window frame, simply mark the position on the outside of the window frame where the bay window curtain pole or bracket should be installed, and record the measurement to keep accurate records.

Tree Print Curtains

Determine Number of Panels

To create a complete and cohesive look, determine the number of panels you need to give your bay windows a full look. When determining the number of panels, make sure to double the width measurement of the window. For instance, if the window measurement is 40 inches wide, the window requires 80 inches of curtain panel to properly decorate the window without any major gaps. The width of most curtain panels falls between 40 inches and 60 inches, whereas the length of the panels can range from 56 inches to 72 inches.

Brown Curtain Rods

Consider Customized Panels

Whether you install the curtains with DIY bay window curtain rods, bay window poles, or curtain brackets, hanging curtains for your bay window requires taking proper measurements and selecting your desired placement. However, some bay windows feature distinct shapes and sizes that require distinct measuring adjustments. These windows may feature odd turns and need custom curtains in order to obtain a proper fit that satisfies your desired visual aesthetic. Some manufacturers offer curtain panels with in-between sizes to fit oddly shaped or distinct bay windows.